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Cricket & Marketing? Howzat for a winning combo?!

Tom Perry
by Tom Perry - July 19, 2019

They say you should always write about something you know.

Well there are two things I know about. Firstly, Marketing, and secondly, Cricket. And unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you should know that the stars have aligned and as I was planning my next blog, England have gone and won the 2019 cricket world cup! So here it is, possibly the most tenuous blog I have ever written (but it is important to keep your Head of Marketing happy)…what we as marketeers can learn from the ICC 2019 cricket world club. I might need to work on that title…

Teamwork makes the dream work.

Cricket is relatively unique in that it is a team sport that is measured very much on individual performance. The first question most fans will ask is, who scored the runs and who was in the wickets, despite the overall number of runs scored or wickets winning the game. Each individual has to play their role in order to drive the team forward. However, the team ethos and momentum has to be tight in order to have any success. This is the same with any marketing programme. Each member of the team is working on their individual areas, from data, strategy and paid traffic to optimisation, lead qualification and sales. However, if one of these cogs isn’t turning in the right direction, then the wheels will fall off and there will be no forward movement. You can have the best leg spinner in the world, but if your team mates are dropping catches, their efforts will be for nothing. Working together is vital. All team members, departments and disciplines must be aligned, working together towards the common goal and if the performance is there, you will get results. (I managed to make this point without even mentioning sales and marketing alignment…that’s a first). This brings me on to the next point nicely…

You need to have a game-plan.

It may seem like it is a game of chance, where the balls are randomly bowled at the receiving batsman, but each ball is carefully planned out; from where it is going to pitch, its speed, if it’s going to turn and as importantly, where the fielders will be placed in order to maximise the chance of a wicket from each delivery. Not only this, but the batting line up is meticulously planned, to maximise partnerships and create the best chance of scoring runs. The opposition will be thoroughly researched and the overall team strategy will adapt depending on their game, it is all planned. Now I have said this before, but each and every marketing campaign must be planned thoroughly before execution. Without strategy, marketing is reactive and that will never facilitate growth. Having a plan for each campaign element - from social to content, paid traffic to account management – is integral to streamlined processes and consequent success. Team members will be prepared for each eventuality and will be primed and ready to jump on opportunities when they arise and encourage conversions.

Optimise whenever possible.

What very few people know is that behind the players on the field is a team of sports analysts filming every single ball, every catch, every run and analysing each player’s individual performance. Why? To identify weaknesses amongst individuals, technically or by analysing the overall team tactics and working collaboratively to offer suggested areas of improvement to maximise performance. Ring any bells? It should do. Optimisation is an integral step in any marketing campaign. And I don’t just mean running a report at the end of the campaign to see what could have been done better…optimisation should be done throughout campaigns to make sure that elements which aren’t performing as expected are tweaked to improve performance. This can be in the form of budget relocation, A/B testing for subject lines or ads, tweaks to audience criteria or introducing new channels to replace ones which aren’t yielding results. Performance optimisation will bring results.

Never give up.

There was a point on Sunday afternoon where I had my head in my hands and I was writing a congratulatory text to my friend in New Zealand…and then ‘that ricochet’ happened. You never know what is going to happen towards the end of a campaign and if you stop grafting and working towards the end goal then you will never achieve the desired result. I know I just said that everything should be planned meticulously and this is true, but sometimes eventualities arise that will make or break a campaign and the team need to be primed to jump on these opportunities. Cricket (even limited overs games) is a long game and can’t be rushed. Marketing is the same. End to end campaigns must run for 12 weeks minimum and results won’t materialise overnight…but with team work, collaboration, strategy, optimisation and tenacity success will follow.

Ok your team may not be lifting a trophy and spraying magnums of Veuve in front of 8.3 million people, but they will be victorious nonetheless and you can get the boss to treat you all to a night at the T20 as the results flow in. Now Go Well and come on the Rey! (Sorry to all you non-Surrey fans!).

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